I recently had the privilege of attending a friend’s retirement party. The guest list included family, of course. His wife and children were there along with his in-laws, at least one uncle and a few cousins.
There were friends from this man’s childhood, the years he served in the U.S. Air Force, current coworkers, and lots of friends he has made at church over the years.
Many of the people who attended told of the impact this one man had on them. They recounted how, even though he held himself and those around him to a high standard, their sense of a genuine lasting friendship caused them to strive also to do their very best.
People voiced this attitude across the board. At work, at church and home, each person had a story that included humor, even amid the hard times and an overwhelming sense that true friendship is one of the most valuable things in life. Scripture also tells that friendship has a high value.
There are 2 verses in the book of Proverbs that point this out.
First, in Proverbs 17:17, we read, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Second, in Proverbs 18:24, we read, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, was a man filled with wisdom. At least some of this wisdom was gained through experience. Life is often like that. We especially learn wisdom when life experiences are particularly trying.
When you are going through a difficult time, you want to have good and faithful friends. You need them.
That’s right. You need people around you whose friendship will last. When there is adversity, you need to surround yourself with brothers or sisters who are willing to love you through the pain while sticking close even when the battle is hardest.
Friends like these have a lasting effect on those around them. Life may not be easier, but the burden becomes manageable when you have others to lean on.
Don’t forget, when someone needs to lean on you, bring them to Jesus. Your friendships are the perfect opportunity to mirror the faithfulness of Christ to everyone in your life.
Whether it’s at church or work or home, your impact will leave a lasting legacy. When you come to the end of your career or the end of life, what kind of legacy will you leave behind?
My prayer is that each of us would leave behind a legacy of real, lasting, faithful friendships.